By SALLY SEXTON
Girl Scouts has been a part of Tara Tiller’s life since the age of 4.
But recently, the Aledo High School senior and Girl Scout ambassador earned one of the organization’s highest achievements, winning the Gold Award for excelling in leadership, community service, career planning and personal development.
For the achievement, Tiller constructed a walk-in aviary for Birdlink Sanctuary, a Weatherford non-profit that provides a home for abandoned, surrendered or unwanted exotic birds.
Tiller caught her first glimpse of the sanctuary during a scout trip a few months before starting her project.
“It helps get the word out, because this isn’t a well-known issue,” she said of the bird refuge.
Tiller began fund-raising efforts for her project in August of last year, and had the help of family and community members participate in the building and donation of supplies. Teen court volunteers also helped in the construction process.
The finished product, which now houses an array of love birds, is 8 feet tall, 8 feet wide and 16 feet long.
“It was so much bigger than I thought it was going to be,” Tiller said, “but it turned out really well.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone who helped me out along the way.”
Birdlink, operated by Jim and Jean Gibson, currently has around 120 exotic birds, including macaws, amazons, love birds, cockatiels and conures. Adoption opportunities are available.
For more information on Birdlink Sanctuary, visit www.birdlink.org.